Thanks to a couple or retweets, I came across a pretty timely post on the merits of divorcing your content from it’s form. Thinking beyond webpages, and moving into mobile (as well as whatever comes next) is a burning hot topic and one that causes a lot of confusion for clients.

I’ll let you read the original post for all the juicy details, but I wanted to draw attention to one particular portion that focused on resistance to change. If anything, this is the number one reason projects can become extraordinarily hard and may or may not end up the way they were intended.

A “content first” approach may require a fundamental perspective change, both on departmental and personal levels. Stressing now over adjusting could save a gaggle of future headaches.

A tough challenge facing organizations is what values and guidelines should change to refine how they create and deliver content. “For example, I talked to a client this week who asked, ‘So, we’re going to have to get over the fact that sometimes blocks of content will end in an orphan [meaning a single word left hanging on a line by itself]. We’d never allow that in print.’ That’s a simple example, but it shows how some deeply ingrained practices have to change when you move to more flexible, dynamic content.”

I’ll extend this concept a step further and point out that a lot of clients are comfortable with the status quo. They may understand their content in a one dimensional (legacy) context. Although this may have worked well in the past, the reality is much more dynamic. Blobs of content that don’t really have any rhyme or reason need to be reconsidered and turned into organized and structured “objects”. This may remove the “flexibility” to create random content on the fly, but it opens the door to platform and device adaptation which is really where we are going.

Yes it means much more upfront planning and organizing, and potentially an initially higher cost for development, but it long term your strategy involves device and presentation layer flexibility, you really need to start asking some tough questions and develop a new relationship and understanding of your content structures.

SOURCE: Content Marketing Institute

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